COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WOOD) — A Comstock Park man accused of recording images up women’s skirts at a Walmart committed a similar crime seven years ago.
Richard Michael Taylor, 34, was arraigned Friday on charges of eavesdropping – capturing an image of an unclothed person and using a computer to commit a felony.
Kent County sheriff’s deputies were called to the Walmart on Alpine Avenue NW north of Four Mile Road after a complaint that a man had tried to take photos and videos up women’s skirts. When deputies arrived, they found Taylor in a parking lot across the street, according to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.
Taylor allegedly admitted that he had used his cellphone to take photos and videos up women’s skirts, the sheriff’s department said.
When police looked through his phone, they found images of one victim. The victim’s husband told 24 Hour News 8 they were told there could be more victims.
Victoria Kozal dated Taylor in 2008 and has a four-year-old daughter with him. She said she was not surprised to hear that he committed the crime.
“Honestly, it’s a relief that he was caught because you can’t hide from anything now,” said Kozal.
This is the second time Taylor has faced a peeping charge. In 2007, Michigan State Police records show, Taylor pleaded guilty in Muskegon County to a charge of capturing or distributing an image of an unclothed person and was sentenced to 18 months of probation.
“He had taken pictures from under the stall of some people,” said Kozal.
Taylor’s criminal history dates back to 1996, MSP records show, and includes convictions for misdemeanor receiving stolen property, felony attempted home invasion and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
If convicted of the most recent eavesdropping charge, Taylor could spend up to five years in prison. If convicted of the computer charge, he could spend up to seven years in prison.
Kozal believes Taylor belongs behind bars for a long time.
“He made the choice so now you have to suffer the consequences. Those are girls that every day are now going to be constantly looking behind them,” Kozal said.”You robbed something from them, so honestly whatever you get, you deserve.”
His bond was set at $25,000 cash or surety during his arraignment Friday. He was ordered to have no contact with any of the victims in the case or go to any Walmart stores if released on bond.
A Walmart spokesperson said the company has “turned their surveillance video over to law enforcement and is looking into the matter.”
Officials said they were pleased with the quick response from law enforcement and plan to work with officials throughout the investigation.